I will start this thread with the daoist master Hua-Ching Ni's book, The Complete Works of Lao Tzu. Below is his Introduction to the Hua Hu Ching.
"Few people are aware that after imparting the teachings of the To The Ching, as he traveled Lao Tzu continued to share his teachings with those who sincerely sought the high guidance of life from him. His essential instruction was to live according to the Universal Integral Way of balance and harmony. Only one known compilation of thse later teachings survived, and even it was destroyed. It has come to be know as the Hua Hu Ching.
When Manichaeism, the religion created by the Syrian religious leader Mani (215-274 C.E.) knocked on the door of China, its source was identified as Lao Tzu’s Hua Hu Ching. Several versions of the Hua Hu Ching may have appeared.. This one is my own education from my parents. The writing is my personal attainment.
After the Mongolian invasion, the Yuan Dynasty was established. The refined culture of the inland was devastated by the horse people. Emperor Shuen Ti (1333 C.E. – 1367 C.E.) was persuaded by jealous and prejudiced religious leaders of his own tribe of the border to ban the Hua Hu Ching and order all copies of it to be burned. Certain Buddhists in China felt that their spiritual leader Sakyamuni was degraded by the Hua Hu CHing, because people often associated him with the prince who is Lao Tzu’s student in the book. This association was undoubtedly inaccurate, since in ancient times there were so many kingdoms that kings and queens, princes and princesses, were as numerous as grains of sand on a beach. The prince could therefore have been any learned noble.
The influence of the Hua Hu Ching can certainly be seen in the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, although it is inaccurately interpreted as prajna (wisdom, which is the doctrine of emptiness). The influence of the Hua Hu Ching is also seen in the teachings of Sufism. However, the teachings of Lao Tzu and the principles of the I Ching elevated the new teachings of Buddhism as Mahayana when more translations of these works from the influence of northern culture move west and south. After being reedited, it went back to China. In the same period, Ch’an (Zen), Buddhism, produced several important Buddhist books said to be Sakyamuni’s teachings such as the Lani Sutra, the Sutra of Full Awakening, and a particular philosophical discussion called the Introduction to Mahayana, etc. These three were the most influential in making Buddhism part of Chinese culture. Thus Ch’an Buddhism is actually an ancient Taoist teaching cloaked in Buddhist garments which afterwards spread to Japan and Korea.
Manichaeism was absorbed by Tibetan Buddhism and folk Taoism. Some teachings of Zoroaster and Mani can be found in a reedited form as the Pure Land School of Mahayana Buddhism which was widely practiced in China. You can find influences of Lao Tzu and the Book of Changes in many of these teachings.
Cultural integration and the replacement of old religions by new ones is unavoidable as societies form and reform. New teachers always tailor their teachings for a new generation of people. Christianity is one such reediting of Greek philosophy and the virtuous conviction of Socrates with Jesus as the projection of such a combination.
All culture is based on the past. For example, Judaism is the reediting of Egyptian and Babylonian culture, and Islam is the reediting of Judaism and Christianity. Chinese culture draws upon the I Ching, which is derived from the simple inspiration of nature. To see the simple symbols Hu Tu and Lu Su please refer to my work The Natural Paradigm of the Universe.
According to Scholars, there were several versions of the Hua Hu Ching. The collection of Dunhuang Caves in Gansu province dating from 366 C.E. contains Buddhist statues, frescoes, and valuable manuscripts including the name Hua Hu Ching. The preface of the Hua Hu Ching and a few scattered chapters are also kept in the Taoist Canon which was compiled during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1643 C.E.). However, the Hua Hu Ching may no longer exist in China. Few, if any, complete and accurate copies of it exists today. It is only through the oral transmission of its teachings, generation after generation, by highly developed individuals, that Lao Tzu’s teachings have been preserved. Until now, the Tao Teh Ching has been the only work by Lao Tzu available to the public.
Truth itself is power. By using and persistently studying this book, many kinds of help can be obtained. The teachings of Lao Tzu point to and reveal the highest dimension of life that is the original focus and inspiration fro all religions. Its highest value, however, is the guidance to abide by the natural subtle law of the universe that I have expounded in Tao, the Subtle Universal Law.
The shell of a book can be burned by those who have not attained any spiritual development, but no one can damage the subtle truth that is beyond any form. For this reason, this precious teaching has now reached you.
This book represents my education as a youth. I was the hu or individual who needed to be civilized spiritually through a broad spiritual education. The contents of this version present the integral truth that is indivisible. No single religion is enough to carry the whole truth of universal spiritual reality, which must be whole or nothing. Every human creature has made a contribution to the unfolding truth of wholeness. Thus what I have presented here is not a segmented religious teaching, but the ageless universal inspiration for all people.
The material in this book is more than a translation it is an elucidation drawing upon my decades of spiritual cultivation and training in this tradition. Anyone who wishes to produce their own version of this material should work directly from an original text rather than copying from my work."
Edited by dawei, 04 January 2013 - 09:17 AM.